Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

Historical, Fiber-filled, and Yum July 8, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info — rabbit @ 12:54 pm

Fresh figs!  Oh em gee!  (insert failed cartwheel here)

Fresh figs are one of my seasonal luxuries, as they only hit the supermarket shelves here about two or three times a year.  Or at least they only go on sale two or three times a year.  I freak out when I see them, and try to pick the best bunch.  It’s hard to get really good ones.  A lot of times they’re too firm and dry, lacking in sweetness.  They should be soft, and kinda glisteny when cut open.  The inside is fleshy and and soaked through with nectar.  Figs are a particularly sensual fruit, and are associated with the feminine.  The fig tree may actually be humanity’s first agricultural accomplishment.  And because they are native to the Mediterranean, middle east, and India, they play a large part in mythology and religion (I’m sure we all remember Adam and Eve wearing fig leaves).  Buddha found enlightenment under a fig tree.  The Qur’an says to eat figs because they help gout and prevent hemorrhoids (lol…).  And apparently there’s one story in the bible that says Jesus found a fig tree when he was hungry, but because it had no fruit on it, he cursed the tree and it withered… wtf, Jesus?  (Mind you, I know very little about religious stories, and I found all this info on Wiki.)

Anywho.  Dried figs are much more common and easy to find.  They’re very nutrient dense, too– calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and more.  And plenty of fiber for that laxative effect.  Usually you only find dried Black Mission figs or Kadotas.  When they come in fresh, you may find Calimyrnas, which I favor because they are particularly sweet, or Brown Turkey, which is what I believe I have right now.  There are other varieties, but I never see them here.  Sad.

I like eating figs solo, but there are a lot of fun things you can do with them.  They go well with sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, squash, and any other sweet, starchy vegetable.  Make a sandwich with sliced fig, some kind of nut butter, and cinnamon; or brie and arugula.  Throw some on top of ice cream or yogurt; pancakes, waffles, and crepes.  They go well in various salads.  Or cut them in half and grill them, serve with the rest of your barbecue fare.  A couple of times, I’ve made an upside-down fig cake, and that was bomb-diggity.  Here are some other ideas for a more simple snack…

From left to right: doused in chocolate (duh); sprinkled with shredded coconut, cinnamon and black pepper (and a little honey or maple syrup if you want); topped with walnuts and honey; stuffed with goat cheese and topped with balsamic reduction.

I won’t lie, the goat cheese one is my favorite.  I mean, c’mon… it’s goat cheese.  Figs go well with various cheeses, as well as other accompaniments, because of their mellow sweetness.  Very good for experimentation.  And preventing hemorrhoids, and relieving constipation, and finding enlightenment…



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